Changes in Educational Policies in Britain, 1800-1920: How Gender Inequalities Reshaped the Teaching Profession

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Historically, education in Scotland lies at the heart of national pride and has been widely acclaimed as a more democratic and meritocratic system in terms of wider access to schools and universities when compared with England. One of the main paradoxes which this book unpacks is the that under the Scottish public co-education structure, schoolmasters did overall benefit more favorably within this distinctive tradition whereas the treatment of women teachers as an occupational group in relative terms was more ideologically undemocratic and patriarchal in relation to their female counterparts under the English system. This book sets out on a historical journey and embarks on the reconstruction of policy formation on gender and occupational segregation in the elementary (now called primary) school teaching and it shows that there was nothing ‘natural’ about that process.


“This book goes further than previous historical work in comparatively addressing whether gender and education in Scotland was ever any more even handed than in England. More generally, the comparison between two education systems within one nation state which Helen Corr provides, gives the reader a privileged point of insight into the relative impact of systems versus wider social and historical context.” – Prof. Lynn Jamieson, University of Edinburgh

“. . . one of the most important books to be written in historical and sociological studies of teachers, gender and education in Scotland when compared with England and Wales.” – Prof. Richard Finlay, University of Strathclyde

“. . . a magnificent book which presents a convincing argument for how we should understand gender struggles in education in the past, particularly in the teacher unions, and which brings the discussion up to date with reference to present-day concerns.” – Prof. Gaby Weiner, University of Edinburgh

Table of Contents

List of Tables
Foreword: Professor Lynn Jamieson
1. Changing Gender Patterns in Teachers’ Employment and Education 1800s-1914
2. Dominies and Domination: Locating Gender in Scottish Education before 1872
3. Feminising of Teaching 1870 – 1900: ‘A Mixed Blessing’?
4. Gender and Unequal Opportunities in Teaching in the early Twentieth Century
5. Thinking of Joining a Teachers’ Union? The Gender Gap 1870 - 1900
6. Gender Politics and Equal Pay 1900 – 1920
7. Constructing a Domestic Sphere for Girls in State Education 1830s-1900
8. Education, Motherhood and Nationhood 1900-1914
Postscript. Gender Transformations in Contemporary Education?
Primary Sources
Local School Board Reports

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